Expat Artist: Chad Bilyeu in Amsterdam

Expat Artist: Chad Bilyeu in Amsterdam

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Photographer, illustrator and designer Chad Bilyeu describes the local art scene as "a bit incestuous and hyperbolic."

Name: Chad Bilyeu

Nationality: American

Country of residence: Netherlands

Reason for moving to new country of residence: The official reason was to do a masters degree in American Studies, but honestly, I just wanted to move to Amsterdam.

Which medium(s) do you work in?

Photography, illustration, design

Amsterdam-Where For Art Thou?-Photo © Chad Bilyeu

 "Where For Art Thou?"

Nothing can keep true love apart. Not even the luxury penitentiary that is the Bijlmerbajes…

How has living abroad influenced your work as an artist?

I am inspired by the great design work that I see throughout the Netherlands. I am not so much inspired by the photography I see.

Can you describe what you wish to communicate through your art work?

I am attempting to present an unbiased portrait of the city of Amsterdam. I don't believe that anyone gives a worthy multifaceted view of this international city.

Which famous local artists inspire you?

MC Escher is the best. He inspires me.

Which up and coming local artists do you find worth mentioning?

I definitely like Bob Mayayta's animation work. I also enjoy Dennis de Groot's minimalistic design work. My web designer and friend, Ruben van Dijk also does great multimedia work.

How easy or difficult is it to mix with the local artistic community?

Not too easy. Dutch people hate to admit when you, as a foreigner, have a better eye for their capital city than they do. There is definitely way too much hubris and nepotism. This is why I organize my own events.

Can you offer some advice to others wishing to break into the local art scene?

Don't worry about what the locals think. Haters will hate. Keep doing what you're doing and do it well. They can try to deny you as they might, but people will eventually recognize talent. Also, do not wait for a Dutch-run industry to give you a break. Make your own breaks.

What kind of financial support is available for artists working in your country of residence?

I have no idea.

How would you describe the local art scene?

A bit incestuous and hyperbolic.


Dutch in Amsterdam, World Cup Finals--Photo © Chad Bilyeu

  "Almost Chicken Soup"
Despite the loss, folks got to party for the World Cup finals. You can’t be mad at that at all. I got the chance to document some of the day…


 Click here to view more of Chad's pictures of Amsterdam.


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